when our work’s done for us.

Walsh, our Chicago-based correspondent, sent us this excellent six-word headline from the Discovery Channel online:

“Tree Shrew Lives on Nature-Brewed Beer.”

Um, awesome! Basically, this one plant in West Malaysia produces a nectar that smells like beer and has a 3.8% alcohol content. A bunch of animals like to toss back a few at nature’s bar, but the tree shrew is the real frat dog in this rainforest:

The researchers conducted video surveillance of visitors to the plant and determined that many species bellied up to the bar-like scene, particularly at night, when the number of visits more than doubled. Nocturnal imbibers included the gray tree rat, the Malayan wood rat, the chestnut rat, the slow loris and the pentailed tree shrew.

The latter two animals spent far more time than the others did moving up and down the palm flowers and licking off the available nectar and pollen. The shrews stayed an average of 138 minutes per night, while the lorises fed for an average of 86 minutes each night.

But don’t worry, the tree shrew isn’t going sob to you about how much he misses his ex-girlfriend or vom in the cab. According to the author of the article about this crazy critter, Frank Wiens, “The [shrews] show no obvious signs of drunkenness when observed from only 9.8 feet away away.” Better than I can say for myself.

[Posted by Mallory]

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